2013 Perennial Plant of the Year
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
-- Polygonatum odoratum 'Variegatum,' also known as variegated Solomon's seal,
striped Solomon's seal, fragrant Solomon's seal, and variegated fragrant
Solomon's seal, is the Perennial Plant Association's 2013 Perennial Plant of
the Year, said a University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator.
February 11, 2013
all-season perennial has greenish-white flowers in late spring and variegated
foliage throughout the growing season," said Martha Smith. "The foliage turns
yellow in the fall and grows well in moist soil in partial to full shade."
name Polygonatum comes from poly (many) and gonu (knee joints) and refers to
the many-jointed rhizome from which the leaves arise. "There are several
explanations for the common name, Solomon's seal," Smith said. "One is that the
scar that remains on the rootstock after the leaf stalks die in the fall
resembles the seal impressed on wax on documents in the past. Another, proposed
by the English plantsman John Gerard, is that the powdered roots were an
excellent remedy for broken bones. Solomon's seal thus refers to the
perennial's property of sealing wounds."
plant is native to Europe and Asia and is a member of the Asparagaceae family;
it was formerly in the Liliaceae family. Regardless of its classification,
members of Polygonatum are excellent perennials for the landscape.
odoratum 'Variegatum' grows to 18 to 24 inches tall and will spread by its
rhizomes to form colonies. The oval-shaped leaves are carried on upright,
arching, unbranched stems. Pairs of small, bell-shaped white flowers with green
tips are borne on short pedicels from the leaf axils underneath the arching
stems. The flowers appear in late spring and have a sweet fragrance.
Bluish-black berries sometimes appear in the autumn.
Solomon's seal is a classic beauty for the shady woodland garden or the
part-shade to full-shade border," said Smith. "It is a great companion plant to
other shade lovers, including hostas, ferns, and astilbes, offering vivid
highlights that echo the color of many neighboring plants. Flower arrangers
will find the variegated foliage to be an attribute for spring floral
arrangements. And, finally, this all-season perennial offers yellow fall
odoratum 'Variegatum' is a very easy perennial to grow and will enhance any
shade garden, especially a more natural one. There are no serious insect or
disease problems associated with it. Plants may be divided in the spring or
fall. The white rhizomes should be planted just below the soil surface.
is a tough plant that survives where many dare not grow," she said.
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source/writer: Martha A. Smith, 309-756-9978, firstname.lastname@example.org